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Texas Senate passes private prison-written bill to license ‘baby jails’ as childcare facilities

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According to the Texas Observer, the Texas Senate passed a bill on May 8 a bill that will license so-called “baby jail” family detention centers for undocumented families as childcare facilities — all while potentially waiving regulations required of other facilities that offer childcare. The bill was passed with a 20-11 margin along party lines.

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The bill was reportedly written by GEO Group, which the Observer describes as “the nation’s second-largest for-profit prison corporation,” and according to the grassroots nonprofit America’s Voice, three of the four people who testified in favor of the bill are GEO employees.

The Observer reported that two of America’s three family detention centers reside in Texas. GEO reportedly receives $55 million annually from the federal government for their operation of the Karnes County Residential Center, a family detention center south of San Antonio that was the subject of a Los Angeles Times exposé in 2015.

The Texas Pediatric Society has reportedly condemned family detention centers for their potential to cause depression, anxiety, and impediments to child development.

State Sen. José Rodríguez, a Democrat from El Paso who opposed the bill, said that its proponents are “placing a lot of faith in the ability of the state to protect these children, but the bottom line is these are prisons and there’s no question about that. There may be some TVs here and there, some bunk beds, but it is a secure facility, a baby jail.”

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Rodriguez’s insisted that this bill, if written into law, will “lesser standards and lack of accountability that will result in women and children being harmed”.


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North America lost 3 billion birds since 1970: report

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The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by an astonishing 29 percent, or almost three billion, since 1970, scientists reported Thursday, saying their findings signaled a widespread ecological crisis.

Grassland birds are the most affected, because of the disappearance of meadows and prairies and the extension of farmland, as well as the growing use of pesticides that kill insects that affects the entire food chain.

But forest birds and species that occur in a wider variety of habitats -- known as habitat generalists -- are also part of the downward trend.

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Ben Carson ranted about ‘big, hairy men’ invading women’s shelters in meeting with staff: report

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On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development unleashed an anti-transgender rant to staffers, complaining that "big, hairy men" are trying to infiltrate women's shelters in America.

The remarks come after Carson suggested that society no longer understands the difference between women and men while visiting HUD's office in San Francisco, California.

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Former four-star general speculates whistleblower scandal could involve Trump giving Putin an American

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It remains unclear exactly what were the issues cited by the whistleblower who expressed concern at actions of President Donald Trump as a threat to national security, at least one of which involved a promise the president allegedly made in a phone call with a foreign leader.

But former Gen. Barry McCaffrey had a chilling thought about what it could possibly be — and posted his speculation on Twitter:

SHEER SPECULATION. Is it possible that the WHISTLEBLOWER issue was Trump discussing with Putin handing over our former US Ambassador to Moscow Mike McFaul to Russian authorities? https://t.co/0PnQn0upiA

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